Many of my life concepts and understandings appear to me, in word pictures. The idea in this BEAM is certainly one example. Early in my professional career I learned that the surface problem is not always, the real problem. Often, the real problem is not the facts as they are being presented.
The real problem often resides in the person, whom you are communicating with; more than the positions they represent. A person who see’s difficulties more than solutions is usually the real problem, more than the seeming situation. A person can be competent with the facts and be an Eagle and find you a solution. Or competent with the facts and be a turkey and argue with you, that there is no solution.
What do I mean by that? I will give you some examples that you can relate to. Though the history of my business travels I learned that; “there is no way that you can get there by then,” usually meant that I had a turkey and I needed to find an eagle to help me. So I learned: Hang up the phone. Argument is pointless. Talk to someone else and sure enough; most times I would find an eagle. And what was impossible only a few minutes before was now very doable, by someone with an attitude of “I will find a way!”; instead of it can’t be done.
Before I give more examples, let me do justice to turkey’s. They are really quite intelligent birds but they stay more on the ground than in the sky. They are really quite adaptable, as their survival and numbers prove. But eagles are a more regal bird. We don’t eat eagles. Pass me the turkey is acceptable but not pass me the eagle. …. You get the point.
So maybe all these years, in fairness to the bird; I should have compared unhelpful, negative people to buzzards instead of turkeys. Buzzards eat dead stuff, are very unpleasant to look at, are very unpleasant period. But like turkeys, they are ground feeders. Still, I like turkeys. I don’t like buzzards or vultures. But both feast off of stuff that can’t move very fast and can’t run to get away from them. Eagles like live prey and are always seeking a healthy catch. So, my point is made; whether you want to refer to Turkeys or Buzzards, as the excuse maker; they are not the beautiful regal Eagle; the dream catcher..
Maybe that would have been a better title. Dream Catchers vs. Excuse Makers. Actually that is the point. For the purpose of this BEAM, Eagles represent those among us that can not be kept down. Those among us that if they are low, still dream high. Those among us that if they are high, still reach a hand to help those who are low. And turkey’s, well…… they do something else, not worth celebrating or extolling.
Back to the examples that you can relate to. More times than I have fingers or toes, when there has been some problem on a personal financial account: A problem that one person in a given organization proclaimed could NOT be rectified. With a little further searching, this same problem with the same service provider was actually solved; when I found a better person to deal with. I am sure that many of you can relate your own stories of how a problem was courteously solved; When you got help from the right person. Same organization. Same policies. Yet the problem is only solved when some-one is consulted who makes up their mind, THEY CAN find a solution. Eagle’s vs. Turkey’s. Problem solvers versus Problem makers.
In one situation, I bought a bus ticket for a child to get them home from a stranded situation. Only to find out they could not board, because of a lack of “proper” identification (a turkey at work). Instead of a bad situation turning into a tragedy, a person with a conscience and character in the same organization helped me find a way to get my child home on the bus (an eagle at work).
I had a severe injury in the 90’s in a karate fight. They were going to send me home for a couple of weeks before operating, which would have meant the end of my new work position (a turkey at work). But I got a second opinion, from another surgeon, who listened to my concerns about my job and operated on me on the spot (an eagle at work).
Les Brown is a great motivator and speaker. He encourages people to overcome adversity and work through obstacles, to achieve success in their life. I have followed the fired up admonitions and encouragements of His Eagle’s creed for many years. The Plaque on my wall ends with the words, “Its not over till I win.”
“If you want a thing bad enough to go out and fight for it,
to work day and night for it,
to give up your time, your peace and your sleep for it…
if all that you dream and scheme is about it,
and life seems useless and worthless without it…
if you gladly sweat for it and fret for it and plan for it
and lose all your terror of the opposition for it…
if you simply go after that thing you want
with all of your capacity, strength and sagacity,
faith, hope and confidence and stern pertinacity…
if neither cold, poverty, famine, nor gout,
sickness nor pain, of body and brain,
can keep you away from the thing that you want…
if dogged and grim you beseech and beset it,
with the help of God, you will get it!
It’s not over, till I win!”
Wow, I can identify with the dogged determination Les Brown describes in this poem. If I told you the list of adversities in my life; you probably would gasp for breath. But by God’s grace, I am still in the ring and “its not over, till I win.” That’s the way eagles think. They soar high and free and see opportunity, where others see only difficulty.
How about it? Do you make more excuses or solutions? Do you look for ways to win or reasons why you can not? Optimism is not blind. It sees the difficulties. It is just looking for the sunshine, shining through them. It notices the problems. It just does not dwell on them, because it is on its way beyond them. A mind made up that it will prevail is impossible to defeat. You may experience challenges but you will live in conviction and courage. You may experience trials but you will live in tenacity and triumph. You may get put down but you will see that you are a seed destined to rise up. You may have hardship but you will be buoyant, in your attitude.
I had a very wonderful friend named Eula Boring. At 97, she overcame an injury and came back to the church where I was preaching. She had been run over by a mail truck and no-one thought she would ever come back to church. Except a young pastor with nerve (me); who asked her to try. She lifted everyone’s spirits with her courage and unstoppable passion. She was a regal person like the eagle.
Ten minutes before she died I was with Eula and she was laughing. She had no fear of dying. It was not an obstacle to her but a portal. She was going to fly through the gate, with joy. She was an Eagle’s eagle.
I remember; the one time Eula said something that resembled a complaint. She made me a pot holder with her crippled fingers. When she gave it to me; She complained that it was difficult to make with her twisted fingers. But she was thankful, because when they twisted so far; they snapped and did not hurt as bad. Even in her complaint was gratitude. I have always wished that every young person who ever complained could meet her; to be graced by her unstoppable gratitude and enthusiasm.
Shortly before Eula died, she called me to her home. I felt bad, because I did not get there while she was in the hospital. But she did not call me there to complain. She called me there to tell me that my love and care as her minister had meant more to her, than she could ever tell me. Her words meant more to a young minister, than I could ever tell her. She had the spirit of an eagle and never let adversity tarnish her spirit.
Life is not about the turkeys. Don’t worry about them. Have mercy on them. Be good to them. But remember, Life is about the eagles. Look for them. Cherish their lofty examples ….. Oh, And by the way, be an Eagle yourself!
Tim G. Carter – aka “Slam”
Inspirational & Eagle Thought Leader